Former chief minister Digambar Kamat was, on Wednesday, granted conditional anticipatory bail by a local court in Goa in the Louis Berger bribery case.
District judge BP Deshpande granted bail to Kamat on a surety of Rs 1 lakh and asked him to cooperate with the crime branch as and when summoned.
The state crime branch is investigating the case of alleged payment of bribe by officials of Louis Berger to a Goa minister, to win consultancy for a water augmentation and sewerage project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The bail is a setback to the investigators who had arrested former PWD minister Churchill Alemao two weeks ago in connection with alleged payoffs by the US-based firm when Kamat was the chief minister.
Kamat is charged with criminal conspiracy under section 120-B of the IPC and also under sections 7, 8, 9 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Later section 201 of IPC (causing disappearance of evidence, or giving false information to screen offender) were added to the charges.
Three others, including former vice-president of Louis Berger Satyakam Mohanty, head of JICA-aided project in Goa Anand Wachasunder and hawala dealer Raychand Soni have been arrested in connection with the case.
Mohanty was granted bail on Monday on a surety of Rs 1 lakh and barred from leaving India.
Kamat, who has rejected all charges against him as politically motivated, appeared before the crime branch which recorded his statement for over three hours on Monday.